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Remembered Today:

Quiz - Who`s this?


PhilB
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Field Marshall, Viscount William (Bill) Slim, commander of 14th Army in WW2.

He was commissioned into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in August 1914 and served with them in in the 9th Bn in Gallipoli, where he was wounded . On recovery he was commissioned into the West India Regiment and served in Mesoptamia in 1916 winning an MC also being wounded again. He served in India -1917-1920, as a staff officer at Army Headquarters, transferring to the Indian Army in 1919.

Terry Reeves

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that looks like a WW2 Uniform, so i am thinking this is the man after he was 'Famous'. Looks poss Home Gaurd.

There was a VC and DCM winner of RAMC in WW1 who served WW2 in the Home Gaurd and for the life of me I can not remember his name.

It will come to me but then I am probably wrong anyway!!

regards

Arm

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Do you recognize this popular gentleman? And, if you do, what can you tell us about his WW1 service?

Major Arnold Ridley - aka Godfrey from Dads Army

What's the prize for getting it right?

Mark.

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Correct! It`s the young (and dashing) Arnold Ridley. I know he was severely wounded on the Somme, but that`s all. Can you add anything?

Your prize is the admiration of all members who didn`t know! Perhaps. :) Phil B

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This is all I could find on him after several searches, he was a busy chap.

Arnold Ridley OBE (1896-1984)

Arnold Ridley was born in Bath in 1896 and educated at Bath & Bristol University. On graduating, he did a short stint at teaching before making an acting debut in "Prunella" at Bristol's Theatre Royal.

The First World War soon beckoned and he saw active service but was invalided out in 1917 after been severely wounded in the Somme. By 1918, Arnold had resumed his acting career and appeared in Birmingham Rep in over 40 productions up until 1920. Because of his war injuries his acting career was put on hold again, working for his father in a boot shop Arnold began writing plays.

In 1923, he wrote 'The Ghost Train', which was inspired by having to wait for several hours in a West Country railway station. Although 'The Ghost Train' made Arnold's name as a playwright, Arnold also wrote many other plays including 'Beggar My Neighbour' and 'Easy Money'.

By the mid 1930's, Arnold had established his own film company along with a partner, however this was dissolved after the financial backers were declared bankrupt. It took nearly 20 years to clear the debt Arnold had amassed because of the situation.

The outbreak of the Second World War saw Arnold back in service, this time in France; he suffered shellshock and was discharged again. For the remainder of the war he worked with ENSA and whilst directing a production of 'The Ghost Train' met his future wife Althea. When the war ended he resumed his acting career and made an eventual progression from stage to film to television and radio.

His film work included 'Interrupted Journey' and 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'. His radio work included a regular role in the radio drama "the Archers" and TV roles in both 'Crossroads' and 'Coronation Street'. By 1968, Arnold was into his 7th decade when he was offered the role of Private Godfrey in 'Dad's Army'.

Arnold's gentle approach made him a firm favourite with young and old alike, so much so, that he appeared in all versions of the show, even the stage show which coincided with his 80th birthday in 1976. After 'Dad's Army', Arnold's appearances became fewer, he died in 1984 at the age of 88.

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Little bit more info:

Arnold Ridley (1896 - 1984) - In the same way that John Laurie could have been an architect, so Arnold Ridley could have become a school teacher. Only Arnold decided to join the theatre in 1914, for a short period before he was taken to fight for his country. Unfortunately, Arnold was invalided out in 1917, following an injury to the head sustained from a German soldier's rifle butt.

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So Arnold was right at the sharp end. Or the blunt end, should we say? It seems then that he served as an NCO in WW1. He is referred to as a major in WW2. Would this be his ENSA rank or his rank in previous WW2 service? Was he back in the Somersets in WW2? Phil B

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Do you think I was subconsciously seeing a Dads Army member when i thought he looked like one?

regards

Arm

Ps still cant remeber the chap i thought it was

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Field Marshall, Viscount William (Bill) Slim, commander of  14th Army in WW2.

He was commissioned into the Royal  Warwickshire Regiment in August 1914 and served with them in in the 9th Bn in Gallipoli, where he was wounded . On recovery he was commissioned into the West India Regiment and served in Mesoptamia in 1916 winning an MC also being wounded again. He served in India -1917-1920, as a staff officer at Army Headquarters, transferring to the Indian Army in 1919.

Terry Reeves

If t is Bill Slim (and we know it is not), how could he be commissioned twice without resigning or otherwise being deprived of his first commission ?

Would it not have been more accurate to say he was appointed to the WIR ?

Was it a different commission (a la VCO or KIC) than in the regular British Army ?

Edward

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Edward,

If my memory service he a temporary comission in the 9th battalion the Royal Warwick's when he went to Gallipoli, then obtained a regular comission in the WIR. I have to say this was seen an unpromising regiment to be comissioned into but as a young man without the financial clout to support himself in a more popular regiment it was necessery to achive his final goal - to join the Indian army and mores especially the gurkhas - it was seen a stepping stone. The WIR never saw him! He was back attached to the Warwicks in Mespot. He would have relinquished his first comission on appointment to a regular commission.

He then managed to obtain a transfer from the WIR to a regular IA commission - in fact I have just checked and he was gazetted as being admitted to the IA from the WIR as a Captain 22 May 1919.

If you must he was a KCO - Kings Comissioned Officer but that is a later distinction. He had power of command over British & Indian soldiers.

Matthew

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